Sportspersons ask authorities to launch Pakistan-China Sports Corridor
by KASWAR KLASRA
Sportsperson and public in Pakistan have asked concerned authorities to establish sports corridor between Pakistan and China to get benefit from China’s expertise in certain sports.
The suggestion has come on the heels of the poor performance of Pakistan's 10-member squad at the Tokyo Olympics. The squad remained medal-les which disappointed millions of Pakistanis, although two athletes demonstrated extraordinary performance and won the hearts of millions of Pakistanis.
Poor performance of 10-member squad has raised several questions regarding Pakistan Olympic Association’s working and polishing the talent for such mega-events where finest sportsmen/sportswomen represent their countries around the globe.
It is worth noting that Pakistan had not been able to win a medal during the last 30 years. In sharp contrast, China always bags plenty of gold medals in each Olympics.
Appreciating China's impressive performance at Tokyo Olympics, sportsmen have suggested concerned authorities in Pakistan establish a sport-corridor between Pakistan and China on the pattern of China Pakistan Agricultural Corridor and China Pakistan Industrial Corridor.
It is worth noting that Chinese athletes always get a bagful of gold at the Olympics. Pakistani sportsmen believe they can take benefits from Chinese resources and coaches in a lot of sports that are funds-starved in other countries.
"Establishment of Sports Corridor can help Pakistani sportsmen/athletes a lot. Believe me, it will transform Pakistan's entire sports system. Pakistani authorities must think about it. Two friendly countries have already established Economic, Industrial, and Agriculture Corridors which have benefited Pakistan a lot. The establishment of Sports Corridor on the same lines can bring Pakistan into the race for medals at Olympics and other international sports events," a famous Pakistani athlete who recently participated at Tokyo Olympics told Gwadar Pro. He requested not to be named in the story.
Many people in Pakistan say, the country has great talent in different kinds of sports but lacks resources to train and polish the talent. That is, perhaps, the reason behind Pakistan's poor performance at international games.
As a matter of fact, whether big or small, countries that participate in the Olympics are supposed to begin preparations for several years before these are announced and demand relentless effort. However, lack of resources has been always restricted Pakistan to give world-class training to its athletes. This is why Pakistan has not won a medal in the Olympics in the last 30 years.
Arshad Nadeem, a Pakistani athlete who made it to the final of 'javelin' in Tokyo lamented poor and inadequate training facilities and government support currently available for sportspersons in Pakistan.
“I feel sorry for not living up to the expectations of countrymen. However, poor training facilities restricted Pakistan at victory stand,” Arshad told journalists.
Pakistani sports officials and sportspeople believe that China can help Pakistan in the sports sector which is not given much attention in the country despite having a good scope in the world. Pakistani sportspersons can be seen at victory stand in international games if neglected sector of sport is developed and uplifted under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
"In Pakistan, athletics, gymnastics, racket sports, ice and water sports are not given much attention and are considered unconventional sports because cricket is the only game which people know and love to play, due to which other sports are greatly neglected. Unfortunately, there is a lack of champions in Pakistan because despite immense talent sportsmen are not given the right direction, support, and encouragement to excel," Nasrullah Rana, director of Punjab Sports Board, told Xinhua in December last year.
It is worth noting that China is already making its contribution by providing fully-funded scholarships in sports sciences to Pakistani students to help them serve their country in developing the sports system after being back.
In December last year, Pakistan's Inter-Provincial Cooperation Ministry announced it will invite Chinese sports experts to improve the facilities at the Pakistan Sports Complex ahead of the South Asian Games.
Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr. Fehmida Mirza had said Pakistan and China can start exchange programs of athletes and coaches. These initiatives should be incorporated in the CPEC phase-II projects, she added.
Editor's Note: The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.